advanced photoshop

Photoshop tip: Turn a solid object into liquid using Photoshop

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Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

Find out how you can make a solid object appear as though it is made of liquid using just the tools in Photoshop

There have been some great advertising campaigns that use really nice melting liquid effects, where it looks as if the image is running into its environment.

This technique is simpler than it looks to achieve; it just requires some custom brushes and plenty of layers. You can make time to create some of your own splatter effect brushes, which will no doubt come in useful for future projects, or if you’re short on time, then try some ready-made brushes from a free stock site such as

With your downloaded brushes loaded into Photoshop, select the image that you would like to work with. Now duplicate the Background layer and hide the bottom layer, drawing a selection of splatter shapes, with each shape on an individual layer. Position one of the brush layers over the area of the photo you want to add the effect to, Ctrl/right-clicking onto the shape layer to make it an active selection.

Add a mask to your start photo layer and make sure the colours in the side bar are adjusted to Set white foreground, black background. Click on the mask thumbnail and hit Delete. If the wrong part of your image is deleted, hit ‘X’ to switch the black and white and press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the mask.

Repeat this process with many different splatter shapes, so areas of your start image are deleted, and keep rotating the shapes so the effect looks more random. To add the drip effect coming out from the image, simply sample colours from your image using the Eyedropper tool and add new colour shape layers. Alter the brush angles in the Brush Tip section of the Brushes palette.
Lastly switch the original layer’s visibility back on and select the Stamp tool. Sample a clear area of the sky and carefully go over the areas underneath the deleted sections. This will allow the original colour to show through the splat shapes.

Image credit:, image number ‘519879’

Photoshop tip: Turn a solid object into liquid using Photoshop